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KIEV, May 31. /TASS/. Georgia’s former President Mikhail Saakashvili, who has recently been appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, said on Sunday he did not plan his new position as a stepping stone to the Ukrainian prime minister’s office.
"Stuff and nonsense! I have no political ambitions in Ukraine," he told the 112 television channel. He said he wanted to return to Georgia to take part in political processes in his homeland after the "Odessa project."
"When I am successfully through with this project in Odessa… When it is over, well, it cannot be over… When we develop it I will be glad to return home to Georgia to continue my Georgian activities," he said.
Saakashvili said his deprivation of the Georgian citizenship would not keep him from returning to his homeland.
"Even if Georgia’s current president takes a decision to deprive me of Georgian citizenship, it will not be an obstacle for my future return to my homeland, for by the moment of my return to Georgia the nation itself will take a decision to revoke my deprivation of citizenship and to abandon criminal cases against me," he said in an interview with the Tbilisi-based Imedi television company. He did not say when he would return to Georgia but noted "it will happen much earlier than some might think."
In late 2014, while in Kiev Saakashvili said he would return to Georgia in 2015.
On May 30, Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko appointed the former Georgian president governor of the Odessa region and granted him Ukrainian citizenship.
Saakashvili was Georgia’s President from January 2004 to November 2013. He left his country in mid-November 2013, days before the expiration of his presidential term and the inauguration of President Georgy Margvelashvili on November 17, 2013. After his departure from Georgia, Saakashvili stayed in the United States and Ukraine. In recent months, he has been in Kiev working in the rank of the International Reform Council chief. On May 30, Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili governor of the Odessa region and granted Ukrainian citizenship.
Georgian prosecutors brought several charges against Saakashvili in 2014. Thus, he is charged with the crack down on peaceful demonstrators on November 7, 2007; illegal intrusion into the building of the Imedi television channel; illegal acquisition of property belonging to businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili; the organization of an armed attack on deputy Valery Gelashvili in 2005; the cover-up of a crime and falsification of investigation into the 2006 murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani; the misappropriation of state funds in 2009-2012. Saakashvili was put on a police wanted list in Georgia. Later, Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office asked Interpol to issue an international warrant for his arrest. Saakashvili however says these charges are ungrounded.